Hypnosis is alive and well in Kitchener-Waterloo Ontario. People are using it successfully for many "traditional" issues hypnosis is well known for helping (weight loss, stop smoking, sleep, fears etc.). However, Kitchener-Waterloo Counselling Hypnotist and Transformational Coach, Renate Donnovan, brings additional, important dimensions to the use of hypnosis.
These include Executive Coaching and fast practical help for people, especially First Responder professionals, who are dealing with the results of traumatic experiences in their lives.
Renate provides innovative ways for you to make a personal change such as through her 30 Day Challenges and developing the "Hypno Doodling" technique. Read on to learn about Renate, her work and how to get a 50 % savings on her special CD!
could you briefly introduce yourself to our readers please
Thank you, Stephen for inviting me.
The journey that lead me to hypnosis really started at age 18 when I read my first self-help book. That started my quest for personal growth and development. After I finished the first book, I read another book on personal growth, then another, and another. Then, I began taking workshops and training programs on personal growth.
That expanded into teaching workshops and training in personal growth and development. I was even hired by a College in Calgary to implement and instruct a program on personal development. It was designed to help students reduce their mental stress and increase their success both in College and after graduation.
I was introduced to coaching about 15 years ago, and it has been part of my life ever since. Five years ago, I added hypnotherapy and neuro linguistics programming (NLP) to my practice.
My physical office is in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario. However, I work with clients around the world through Skype or phone. I also travel to deliver training and just this year, started producing webinars on specific topics.
What first attracted you to a career in Hypnosis?
I have always been fascinated by the power of the mind, the area of human potential, and the area of transformational learning. You don’t need to work in the “talk therapy” field long before you realize that certain topics are not coachable and they take a very long-time to work through.
About 6 years ago, I began looking for tools that would allow me, and my clients, to work through challenges faster and more efficiently. I wanted tools that would create change faster, more in-depth, and lead to greater levels of transformation and success.
I fell in love with hypnosis and NLP. I have been continuing to learn through these tools in terms of my own work, and with my clients, ever since. Hypnosis is so fast!Have you experienced any personal benefits from using hypnosis for yourself that you would care to share with our readers?
Part of my story is that when I was in my early twenties, I suffered with clinical depression so severely that I could not lift the chairs around my dining room table.
The traditional medical model did not provide the level of help I needed, so I began searching for other tools. This was the primary motivator behind my years of personal growth and development. For me, the three tools that had the greatest impact and results were: transformational coaching, peak performance/mental fitness work, and hypnosis.
Because of these tools, and my ongoing dedication to my own personal growth and development, I am over 15 years medication free—with no depression symptoms. This is also why I trained in all three areas and use them to support my clients.
I began incorporating work by Elaine Aron into my practice around the same time as I began as a hypnotist. Elaine Aron researches on what she calls, “High Sensitivity.” Dr. Aron estimates that 10-15% of the population is “highly sensitive.”
Highly sensitive people receive more sensory input than “ordinary” sensitivity people. Highly sensitive people are more likely to have issues with depression, anxiety and stress related disorders. I am amongst the 10-15% of highly sensitive people.
What I have found, is that hypnosis is extremely good for highly sensitive people because it reduces all the external sensory input and allows us to focus inward. This quiet, inward focus allows the nervous system to relax and rest. It helps highly sensitive people learn to control and manage the input from their 5 senses.
One of my clients said, “Hypnosis is like candy for my unconscious mind.” I agree! It feels so good!
What was the most helpful training you experienced to become a hypnotist? What made it helpful?
I will sing the praises of Leslie MacIntosh from Coastal Academy in Vancouver from the highest roof-top. Leslie’s program is fantastic and I recommend it.
What was helpful about it is two-fold. The first factor being Leslie herself. She is a wonderful person, a true educator and a fabulous hypnotist.
The second was the sheer repetition and review, as well as the depth and quality of the program. I came out of Leslie’s program feeling confident to add hypnosis and hypnotherapy to my practice.
The program is over 140 of training including practicum. I
have since added to that training, incorporating even more
techniques. All of it is made better by the strong foundation Leslie
I specialize in two areas that seem slightly opposite. The first is success, peak performance and achievement. This is moving from good to great! I have a masters degree in Leadership and am also a Certified Executive Coach. So I work a great deal with businesses and leadership development.
I use hypnosis and NLP to help leaders overcome their leadership challenges and fears. Hypnosis and NLP are powerful tools for change. In essence, they are the foundation of good communication. Strategies from hypnosis and NLP can really help managers and leaders influence and motivate staff more effectively!
Recently, I have started combining my passion for mental health and mental fitness, with my passion for leadership development. I have created a series of corporate training workshops to support supervisors manage work place mental health issues.
1 in 3 Canadians will have a mental health issue at some point in their lives (I assume the stats are similar in the US). All of us have a friend or family member who has/does struggle with mental health issues. So, all of us are touched by mental health.
Very few leadership programs prepare managers for this reality. This gap leaves managers highly unprepared. Canada spends billions of dollars per year on long-term disability related to work place stress. I am fond of saying,”Hypnosis for leadership is the new executive coaching!” When NLP and hypnosis tools are combined with executive coaching the leaders see a significant increase in results.
The second area I love to work with is trauma recovery. I have many clients (male and female) who are recovering from past abuse (physical and sexual) as well as other traumas. I specialize in working with depression, anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PSTD).
More recently, I have started working with First Responders. With hypnosis and NLP, most of my PTSD clients are able to control their flashbacks in 1-2 sessions. We can process and release the negative emotions around the trauma. It is so powerful to support people who feel they are “getting their life back.” (It’s very humbling, too. I love it!)
And, of course, I also do the usual quit smoking and habit reformation. I am currently returning to “school” to complete my Registered Psychotherapist Designation. With recent law changes in Ontario, hypnotherapy is now considered a psychotherapy technique, as is working with trauma.
I am excited about learning more powerful tools I can add to my practice! I hope to have my designation by Dec 31, 2016. In the short-term, I can continue my current practice “as is” until I complete my designation. My psychotherapy practice will be hypnotherapy based—which will make me a bit different from other psychotherapists.I know that many people appreciated it when you last ran the 30 Day Possibility Challenge. Another one is coming up. Can you tell us a little about it and why people like it so much?
When I was recovering from my own challenges back in my 20’s, the one common thread those three powerful techniques had was “possibility thinking.” Imagining what is possible is the first step to achieving anything—including health. Imagining sends a suggestion to the subconscious mind that there are other options.
The subconscious begins to act on those possibilities. It is another form of affirmation or self-hypnosis. Also, from a purely neuroscience perspective, when we “wonder” or imagine possibilities, the brain releases dopamine and stimulates the reward centers.
In essence, we make ourselves “happy” when we think positively about what could be. It keeps us focused on what could be possible!
A few years ago, I came up with the idea of the possibility challenge. Every day, for 30 days, participants receive an email with a velfie (video selfie) of me, and some text, with their daily possibility. For example: “What if, just for today, it was possible for me to be still?” OR “What would be possible if, just for today, I truly loved myself?”
Folks can use the daily possibility any way they like. In the previous challenge, I had staff teams that did the challenge together to increase moral, people who blogged about it, folks who contacted me to say it “got them through difficult times.”
I have a group on Facebook and people posted comments on the daily challenge and how they were applying it. It was so much fun!!!! I have had many requests to run it again. It is FREE! Folks can also get to the challenge through: www.30daypossibilitychallenge.com I really hope you will all join me!
I also understand that you have recently added a special “Hypno-Doodling tool” to help people create suggestions for themselves. Could you explain to us how that works?
There is a meditative doodling and colour therapy “craze” hitting the world. Which I confess makes me soooo happy! Art was another powerful tool in my own recovery.
I only had to try meditative doodling one time to realize it acts as a hypnotic induction. Leslie (the teacher I mentioned above) always taught us, “never waste a hypnosis session”. I thought to myself, “If folks are going into hypnosis when they doodle/colour, why not take advantage of that and doodle/colour the positive suggestions they want more of?” So I started teaching folks how to doodle with intention!
Clients working through difficult issues find it easier to talk when they doodle. Anyone with severe trauma has trust challenges and feels vulnerable with the idea of traditional hypnosis where you appear “asleep” (especially when sexual abuse happened when they were sleeping).
So, this is a fabulous way to achieve a hypnosis depth, and at the same time the client feels alert and safe. Folks sometimes “doodle” the block right out!!
I, also, offer workshops on hypno-doodling locally, and different groups have invited me to travel to teach to them. It is always a fun event!
I just recently created a series Positive Affirmation Colouring Sheets. Folks can download them for FREE from my website—just go to the “Free Stuff” section. (You will also find interviews, a relaxation cd download and a few other things). Colouring and doodling are great for anxiety, stress and depression recovery as well! I hope you enjoy the colouring sheets!
Do you find any particular phase of your hypnosis work to be of special interest to you? If so, why?) e.g. one on one sessions, training hypnotists, writing scripts, producing recordings etc.
Helping people recover from trauma is by far the most rewarding area of my work. In the past year, I have been doing increasing work with Frist Responders (Police, Fire, and Paramedics). The suicide rate amongst first responders is approximately 1 per week in Canada. Thrity percent of First Responders develop PTSD.
At present, I have given out over 300 copies of my Inner Stillness cd for free to First Responders in Ontario. Several First Responders with over 20 years experience have told me the cd is helping them sleep for the first time in a decade.
Because of this feedback, I am currently working on a project to create a special cd for each of the 7 areas: police, fire, paramedics, 911 communicators, civilians who work with first responders, corrections staff (prison guards) and military personnel.
I will be giving out these cds for free to folks in each of these groups. I am very passionate about this project. I see it as giving back to the people who risk their lives to help us. (I am also seeking a corporate sponsor for the project if anyone reading is interested please contact me below
If anyone reading is interested in purchasing my Inner Stillness cd, you can receive the download for half price by entering code: awesome_offer_renate.What is the most frequent misunderstanding about hypnosis that you encounter with clients or the public?
LOL!!! That is a loaded question. I think I receive the “usual” ones, that it is mind control, or that I will make them quack like a duck the way they see in stage hypnosis.
I think the biggest misunderstanding however, is the belief that hypnosis is not an evidenced based modality, or that its “weird” or unnatural. Hypnosis is a natural brain state we cycle in and out of all day long. It is a recognized and respected psychotherapeutic technique.As we both know, Hypnosis as a healing and helping modality has existed for hundreds of years now. However, it is more widely known and accepted in some areas than in others. How would you rate the public acceptance of hypnosis/hypnotherapy in your region?
Kitchener is a very traditional European and tech-based city. Acceptance is growing as openness to complimentary therapies increases. Guelph is more open and receptive than Kitchener—but things are changing. I have many clients who travel to me from the surrounding areas.
Because I work remotely through Skype (what I refer to as “skype-nosis”) I have clients from everywhere. The diversity of my skills with Executive Coaching, transformational education and NLP allows me to work in multiple ways with clients. (Although, sooner or later, all issues lead to hypnosis!)
I find that people’s openness to hypnosis is often related to their philosophies regarding the western medical model. People who are “medical model” only are less open. People who enjoy naturopathic medicine and other complimentary therapies are usually very receptive.
Most of my clients come to me because either the medical model has not worked for them, or because they are looking for more options. I believe there is a time and place for all modalities, and hypnosis works well in conjunction with most models and treatments.
I have many clients seeing a traditional counsellor and working with me at the same time.What would your favourite book on hypnosis be that you would recommend to others?
There are so many great works! The Power of Your Subconscious Mind, by Joseph Murphy is still one of the classics! I also found the visualizations in The New Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz make amazing hypnosis scripts!Thank you Renate it was a pleasure talking with you and we all wish you well in the innovative and wonderful work you are doing, especially for our First Responders.
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